Russians, Russians Russians. Seems they are in the news everywhere (at least in the US……specifically Washington) for doing………well, EVERYTHING. Seems V. Putin is really interested in bitcoins main rival – Ethereum – as a way to help Russia diversify the economy beyond oil and gas. Actually Russia is already using blockchain in a wide variety of ways and may even create a virtual national currency. Hmmmmm, perhaps as they are moving away from oil and gas, the new technology will open doors for political consulting.
“* Russian president met with founder of cryptocurrency Ethereum
* Country may use Ethereum to create national virtual currency
Ethereum, the world’s largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin, has caught the attention of Vladimir Putin as a potential tool to help Russia diversify its economy beyond oil and gas.
Putin met Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum last week and supported his plans to build contacts with local partners to implement blockchain technology in Russia, according to a statement on Kremlin’s website.
“The digital economy isn’t a separate industry, it’s essentially the foundation for creating brand new business models,” Putin said at the event, discussing means to boost growth long-term after Russia ended its worst recession in two decades.
Virtual currencies could help the economy by making transactions happen more quickly and safely online. Besides being a method of exchange, Ethereum can also serve as a ledger for everything from currency contracts to property rights, speeding up business by cutting out intermediaries such as public notaries.
Russia’s central bank has already deployed an Ethereum-based blockchain as a pilot project to process online payments and verify customer data with lenders including Sberbank PJSC, Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova said at the St. Petersburg event. She didn’t rule out using Ethereum technologies for the development of a national virtual currency for Russia down the road.
Last week, Russia’s state development bank VEB agreed to start using Ethereum for some administrative functions. Steelmaker Severstal PJSC tested Ethereum’s blockchain for secure transfer of international credit letters…”